Ford sells its C-Max in Europe with a variety of engines, but with the model's introduction to the U.S., Ford restricts it to a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain, in both standard and plug-in form. The 2013 C-Max Energi is the plug-in version of the hybrid car.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Somewhat like a tall, pudgy Ford Focus, the C-Max shows Ford's current styling language, with a nicely shaped front grille opening, large wheel arches, and a simple contour line down the side (see also slide no. 4).

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Under the hood sits a 2-liter engine and an 88-kilowatt electric motor, making a net 192 horsepower. The car can run for 21 miles under electric power only, using its 7.6 kilowatt-hour battery pack.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The high roofline of the C-Max Energi means plenty of headroom.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

A front-wheel-drive car, the C-Max Energi has a comfortable ride yet reasonably nimble handling.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The cargo area is compromised by the battery pack, which raises the rear load floor.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

In SEL trim, the C-Max Energi comes with leather seats, although only the driver's seat is power adjustable.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The rear seats fold down to create more cargo space.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

This car uses a new version of Ford's Smartgauge, showing different displays concerning energy usage, on the left side of the speedometer. The right display shows phone, stereo, and navigation information.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Similar to other Ford hybrids, the transmission is continuously variable but uses a planetary gearset instead of the bands that make up a traditional continuously variable transmission.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

This SEL trim C-Max Energi is well equipped, with MyFord Touch, navigation, and a Sony audio system.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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